One of the best ways to save money on real foods, and especially meat, is to buy a whole or half of an animal. We slaughter a lamb each year for Eid. Yes, we do it ourselves. Yes, we cut it and package it ourselves. I have to say I had never done this before the first Eid we celebrated. But, I had been privy to hunting and the butchering of animals my whole life so it didn’t really seem odd.
Ok, when MarocBaba brought home an entire skinned and gutted sheep in a plastic bag and put it on my kitchen counter it got a little odd.
But I dug in. We cut the whole thing up and while it wasn’t pretty the first time it worked. We had a freezer full of sheep for a fraction of the price it would have been to buy the pieces individually in the store. You might not be ready to take this step in your real food journey. That’s ok. It took me a long time to be comfortable with this. Take it one step at a time.
Whether or not you have access to full animals for slaughter is going to depend on where you live. It’s very easy where we live but I get that if you’re in New York City or Las Vegas this probably isn’t a viable option. But, you never know. It’s also possible to purchase a portion of an animal and have it butchered for you. Often this can be done quite reasonably. One of the best gifts I ever got was from my dad. He gave me a sheep for my birthday and all I had to do was call the processing plant and tell them what cuts I wanted. They froze it all for me and I came home and filled my freezer.
This post is really meant to encourage you to look outside of the traditional grocery store options for meat. Local farmers often have chickens, sheep, even cows available for slaughter. If you split with a friend your cost can go down quite a bit. You will need space to store the meat but even if you have to purchase a chest freezer, it will pay for itself with the money you save in meat.